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Can Anything Beat White?: A Black Family's Letters (Margaret Walker Alexander Series in African American Studies)

Can Anything Beat White?: A Black Family's Letters (Margaret Walker Alexander Series in African American Studies) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Ann Petry (1908-1997) achieved prominence during a period in which few black women were published with regularity in America. Her novels Country Place (1947) and The Narrows (1988), along with various short stories and nonfiction, poignantly described the struggles and triumphs of middle-class blacks living in primarily white communities.Petry's ancestors, the James family, served as inspiration for much of her fiction. This collection of more than four hundred family letters, edited by the daughter of Ann Petry, is an engaging portrait of black family life from the 1890s to the early twentieth century, a period not often documented by African American voices.Ann Petry's maternal grandfather, Willis Samuel James, was a slave taught by his children to read and write. He believed "the best place for the negro is as near the white man as he can get." He followed that "truth," working as coachman for a Connecticut governor and buying a house in a white neighborhood in Hartford. Willis had sixteen children by three wives. The letters in this collection are from him and his second wife, Anna E. Houston James, and five of Anna's children, of whom novelist Ann Petry's mother, Bertha James Lane, was the oldest.History is made and remade by the availability of new documents, sources, and interpretations. Can Anything Beat White? contributes a great deal to this process. The experiences of the James family as documented in their letters challenge both representations of black people at the turn of the century as well as our contemporary sense of black Americans.

Synopsis:

A treasure trove of correspondence among novelist Ann Petry's ancestors

About the Author

Elisabeth Petry is a freelance writer with a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She lives in Middletown, Connecticut. Her work has appeared in Northeast (the magazine of the Hartford Courant) and Work-Boat magazine.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781617033209
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
Subject:
Letters
Author:
Griffin, Farah Jasmine
Author:
Petry, Elisabeth
Subject:
Literary collections
Subject:
African American Studies
Subject:
Women's Studies
Subject:
Biography - General
Series:
Margaret Walker Alexander Series in African American Studies
Publication Date:
20120431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
13
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

Biography » General
Business » Consumer Guides
Engineering » Engineering » General Engineering
Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » General
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » General
History and Social Science » African American Studies » General
History and Social Science » US History » General

Can Anything Beat White?: A Black Family's Letters (Margaret Walker Alexander Series in African American Studies)
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Product details 240 pages University Press of Mississippi - English 9781617033209 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , A treasure trove of correspondence among novelist Ann Petry's ancestors
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